Finished up the last of the bag with cold brew and gongfu.

Cold brew 1 heaping tablespoon to 1L overnight produces a light liquor with a strong scent of tangy natural blueberry and a taste of red cherry and rose (which I didn’t pick up on in western). It is also slightly drying.

Gongfu was two sessions, 2.5-3g each session to 60mL. A few different notes I picked up this way were rose, grapefruit and purple raisin. They were pleasant gongfu sessions and I found no faults brewing that way, however I appreciate the stronger, melded flavors present in western. Brewing at 60mL allowed me to enjoy the tastes in a small amount without committing to several 8oz glasses which leave me a little cracked out.

It’s such a delightful tea that strongly reminds me of the Napa/Sonoma valley wine producing regions of California. I’d love to order more, but the energy of Chinese purple black teas is generally overwhelming for me. Still very much recommended.

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Always up for a trade. I keep an updated cupboard. Check it out. Don’t be shy — message me if you want to try something! I send international :)

Most enjoyment:

Wuyi and Taiwanese oolong, sheng puerh, Yunnan and Wuyi blacks, GABA oolong. I also appreciate Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, Darjeeling and Nepali teas, bagged tea and herbal teas/tisanes.

I take my teas without milks or sweeteners except sometimes chai and the rare London Fog, matcha latte and golden milk.

I’ll try anything once because it helps me learn. Not opposed to well placed herbs, flowers, fruity bits and flavorings, just nothing cloying. And no added sugars, sweeteners, candy or chocolate.

I abandoned both my preference reference and the recording of detailed steeping parameters in January 2020, favoring a focus on qualitative descriptions. At this point, I am still comfortable toggling the “Not/Recommended” button.

Preference reference:

100-90: A tea I can lose myself into. Something about it makes me slow down and appreciate not only the tea but all of life or a moment in time. If it’s a bagged or herbal tea, it’s of standout quality in comparison to similar items.
89-80: Fits my profile well enough to buy again. Some could be daily drinker teas.
79-70: Not a preferred tea. I might buy more or try a different harvest. Would gladly have a cup if offered.
69-60: Not necessarily a bad tea but one that I won’t buy again. Would have a cup if offered.
59-1: Lacking several elements, strangely clunky, possess off flavors/aroma/texture or something about it makes me not want to finish.
Unrated: Haven’t made up my mind or some other reason. If it’s puerh, I likely think it needs more age.


Sonoma County, California, USA

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